- Expected 18 May 2021
Power never dies . . . and neither does desire.
A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead, in this dark fantasy by A.M. Strickland, author of Beyond the Black Door.
In Thanopolis, magic is rare - and closely controlled. Those blessed - or cursed - with power are kept under constant guard, assigned to undead spirits who watch their every move.
Ever since her father died to save her from this fate, Rovan has kept her magic a closely guarded secret - until an accident exposes her powers for the world to see, and her tenuous freedom comes crashing to an end.
Brought to the royal palace against her will, and thrust into a maelstrom of intrigue and deception, Rovan is drawn to two people she cannot fully trust: Lydea, a beguiling and rebellious princess struggling against her own destiny, and Ivrilos, the handsome, powerful spirit she has been bound to, who can control Rovan, body and soul.
Together, they uncover a terrible secret that could destroy everyone in Thanopolis - the living and the dead. To save them, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world and the underworld, and find a way to trust the princess and the undead spirit vying for her heart - if she doesn't betray them first . . .
A.M. Strickland's richly imagined dark fantasy features court intrigue, a revolution that stretches across life and death, and a pansexual love triangle that will leave readers desperate to find out what happens next.
Ever since her blue-haired, golden-eyed father, an unregistered bloodmage, was slain for refusing to serve the king of Thanopolis, Rovan Ballacra has carefully hidden her own blue hair and powers. When Rovan, now 19, accidentally reveals her abilities more than a decade later, she's promptly captured and soon magically bound to Ivrilos, a black-haired, long-dead 23-year-old man who serves as both Rovan's guardian and enforcer of the king's will. Now imbued with her family's potent magical bloodline, Rovan becomes a pawn in a dangerous political game, expected to marry a royal to preserve the power and protect Thanopolis from an unnatural blight that has consumed most of the outside world. While fighting to save herself and those she loves, pansexual, polyamorous Rovan juggles feelings for both Ivrilos and the passionate Princess Lydea, and befriends nonbinary, asexual Japha. In this complicated dark fantasy, Strickland (Beyond the Black Door) conjures a seductive world with a largely pale-skinned cast where blood and shadow magics intertwine. At times the setting feels more atmospheric than descriptive, but the fast-paced plot and romantic themes will appeal. Ages 15 up. \n